If you were able to come and see us at the 17th annual Antiques in Alexandria show, thank you! It was a great event with so many wonderful dealers, antiques and of course Mary Douglas Drysdale and other interior designers’ booths. The three day event benefited three community charities in Alexandria, Virginia: The Twig (my volunteer group), the small branch that raises funds for Inova Alexandria Hospital; The Lyceum Company, which raises funds for Alexandria’s History Museum; and The Alexandria Association, which uses its funds to support research and conservation projects for Alexandria’s historical properties
What a fabulous opportunity it was to work with Mary and have her use one of her Drysdale Signature Colors for Casart coverings. She found the perfect way to use antiques in a new way — give them pop and modernity while using her classic Lipstick Plus color in Faux Linen removable wallcovering. Gerald Forsburg, a classical architect, constructed the pickeled flooring and Milne Antiques supplied the architectural star wheel, stone pine cone and other accessories.
Milne’s slogan says it all, ” Moving Forward with the Past.” Funny thing, they are located where a recent work colleague of mine is located in Kingston, NY. I was so close recently and will have to go back. They have fabulous antiques!
This was the first time interior designers had been chosen to participate and I think it made a big difference. They helped to show how one can decorate with antiques in a modern way so your home doesn’t look like a museum but is welcoming and livable. Stuart Nordin captured this essence with her booth, pairing many antiques with a modern-day-living style.
Side note: Stuart was my former next door neighbor for a while. We miss having her and her family nearby but know we can meet up with them at Stuart’s awesome shop in Old Town. It was an uncanny coincidence to be neighbors again. Our demo board was right across from her booth with some of our Eye pillows keeping watch.
Barbara Lee is another one of my Old Town “neighbors” with her Lee Design & Interiors shop & services right down the street. I was speaking with her son, Josh, who creates their eye-catching window vignettes that I always enjoy seeing while on my walks and who manages most of the business. He told me they had been in business at their location for 28 years — a robust staple in Old Town when there can be a lot of turnover in an uncertain economy. Barbara uses her styling skills to show the fun and clever side of interior design. Her booth demonstrated a Frank Sinatra theme, which was inspired by the antique piano cabinets with sun and moon decorations on their pedestal bases. The musical theme filtered through with sheet music strewn on the floor, as if Frank had finally found that last note maybe after a martini or two. “Fly me to the moon” was perpetually playing in the background and surprisingly, it fit the entire venue mood. We never got tired of it. It takes a bold and daring designer to pull off black with such sophistication and style.
All events were well attended. The Preview Party was fun with the make your own risotto martini bar. Very clever, indeed. Mary gave a very informative lecture about how she’s used antiques in various projects along with changing styles and homeowners’ views towards heirlooms. She gave us a glimpse into her sense of style, sensibility and approach in design. She starts with the foundation of good architectural bones. If a space doesn’t have it, she finds a way to give the home structure. She’s not afraid to knock down walls and let that a scenic vista that’s always been there but blocked by vestibules shine through.
In Mary’s words, she “helps her clients not just solve their problems but realize their dreams.”
I was pleased to see Casart used in such a creative way for the luncheon bouquets. Who knew you could use wallcovering for a table decoration? Laura Francis the multi-tasking, talented floral designer of Floral Presentations pulled it off. I must admit I had a hard time visualizing it until I saw the fun and vibrant outcome and it worked with one of Mary’s Signature Color yellows.
Going back to Mary’s booth, it was so nice to see one of her Signature Colors as a room vignette styled as part of her design. When I saw this incredible Mid-Century, Capiz chandelier hanging nearby, I couldn’t help but think the pink and green combo of my childhood room has taken on a whole new updated visual that works with our modern, more “grown-up” living. It made Mary’s booth and Casart coverings stand out as a beautiful jewel box.
As stated in an earlier post about what’s here to stay, I think you can make anything work with what you have if you find a way to mix it with what is current. Old and new come together seamlessly this way and it makes sense in saving those antique heirlooms that any of us would be lucky to have.